(about the murder of Zack K. / Zackie Oh)
Noon of the 21st of September 2018, Omonia, Di Angelo jewelery shop, Gladstonos 2 street. A crowd of reputable citizens with Evaggelos Dimopoulos (owner of the jewelery shop), Dimitris Hortarias (owner of a nearby real-estate agency and press representative of the National Front), and snitches from DIAS police forces as front-men, murders. And it murders a person armed with knife or with a piece of glass. It murders a “thief”, a “robber”, an “expropriator”. It murders a “drug-addict”, one of the “filthy” people of this world. This person, trapped in the jewelery shop, tries to get out from the glass partition. That “scared” crowd is waiting for this person there, with the afore-mentioned front-men lynching it over the broken glasses until death. The cops came to finish off the issue with their glops. They give orders and put handcuffs to its unconscious body. Its death has already been found out during its transportation to the hospital.
no name, no life…
A primary narrative is produced on the face of the unknown -until then- person. Journalists and the media extrapolated the conclusion: Robber. Drug-addict. Armed and dangerous. What the stakes are? The property, the bourgeois normativity, the purity and the physical integrity of the greek house-holder, the defense of all the afore-mentioned on any cost. Thus, from the one hand the profile of a social otherness is created, and from the other hand there is an attempt of covering up and ing the “self-defence” and the “self-redress” of the murderers.
The murdered is named “offender”, and the broken glasses “weapons” on his hands. The tragic irony of the case: The only blood that fell on the pavement was his blood, the blood of the “offender”, of the “armed”, of the “dangerous”. From the other hand the murderers -in other words the bosses and the cops- trouble-freely raise the bloody glasses from the floor and give cold-blooded statements to the sensation-hungry TV panels. Actually, according to them, nothing special happened, or -even better- “it happened what was needed to happen”. They know that the death of a “drug-addict who went to steal” isn’t considered as death in the conscience of a majority part of the greek society, as his life by itself isn’t considered as life. The phrase “I would do the same”, literally became the corpse in the mouth of all those who chose to morally launder the murderers.
The capitalistic fragmentation, the rampant individualization and the cynicism outlined in detail the barbarity of the times in which we live/survive.
… when the “offender” acquires name and identity
After a few days, the identification of the -unknown until then- “offender” is brought to the light: Zack Kostopoulos, Zackie Oh!, gay, drag queen, HIV positive, activist and member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Identities that, in the conscience of the most conservative to the most “progressive” parts of the greek class society, remain hateful and odious, as the poison of homophobia and transphobia, of toxic/drug-phobia, of racism and social exclusion is flowing at big amounts in the veins of the visible and uncontaminated people-next-door.
Suddenly, the indictment that condemned her/him was enriched with new adjectives-bullets from the social firing squad which drives to the wall and executes in cold blood every person that doesn’t fulfill the orders and the criteria of every authoritarian normativity. The gender and more widely social identities of Zackie are viewed as a spectacle, as check-boxes in several gallops so as to chose “who we would not like to have as neighbors”, next to the properties of the person of another faith and the foreigner. The viewers vote, the TV viewing figures are rising, the spectacle plays fast and loose with the corpses.
social peace is built on dead bodies
Once again, the state does its job very well and methodically. As always, it utilizes strategies of counter-insurrection and management of fore-coming social resistance. It seeks to protect and perpetuate all these normativities for which it is responsible: the smooth flow of the capital, the sanctity of property (whatever the size), the lifestyle of the reputable house-holder, of the moderate workaholic, of the obedient and attached to the law and the state citizen, and also its own political existence and power.
All the above mentioned constitute a social peace, that the state is called to ensure with as little inconvenience as possible. A wide and effective mechanism of covering up is activated for this purpose. A mechanism consisting of cops, judicial officials, forensic scientists, lawyers, and other (paid or not) executioners, who find a breeding ground at the reassured consciences of the virtuous civilians. Of every silent and passive passenger. Of all those who were in position and able to react to the sight of Zack’s lynching, but, on the contrary, chose to remain idle, waiting for the cops or being afraid for their private security: “Avoiding to get mixed up on dangerous stuff”. Of all those accomplices who shouted: “It serves him right”.
Each silence covers up the dogma of order, security and withdrawal. Every gaze that turns away from the horrific sight of killing gives rise to the life-managing assignment on each expert. Every memory that forgets the dead bodies of the oppressed people builds up the oblivion of the numb routine, the precedent of death and shocker.
everything is going on
Some time after Zackie’s murder, the brutal reality flows similarly murderously. Hollowly, but constantly. And in fact it never stopped: Murders of immigrants at the borders and the seas, legal hostages of the class-oppressed, abusive gazes, comments and touchings from macho-men against feminines, thrashing and strong-arm tactics against “freaks”, drug users and every existence that is divergent to the normative gender standards, the dead time of producing, the reproducing of authorities on the “micro”levels of our social existence, every “small” and invisible death, every “small” daily suffering; all the above mentioned continue to happen without any interference, without being a pole of riots. And they will, as soon as a name and an image are needed to “decorate” a death. Moreover, in a small period of time, the greek society armed once again the hand of a fascist in Corfu, leading to the murder of the albanian worker Petrit Zifle, while in Rhodes the patriarchal perceptions and the rape culture supported the murder of Eleni.
We refuse to accept the role of the history spectator. We collectivize our resistance against the violent present. Let’s not get used in pain and death.
EVEN IF A ROBBERY HAPPENED IN OMONIA,
COPS AND BOSSES COMMITTED A MURDER
assembly from around Ameriki’s square